The grid development plan presented Wednesday 30. November is a continuation of Statnett’s ambitions and specifies investments to be made by 2021 to secure the electricity supply to Norwegian consumers and facilitate Norwegian climate policies and value creation. The planned investment is between NOK 40 and 50 billion.
‘Last year we presented our ambitions for the coming decade. In the 2011 Grid development plan, we have specified the measures and how we will implement them,’ says CEO Auke Lont. Important driving factors include securing sound security of supply in the Bergen area and Northern Norway, as well as to contribute to more equal prices between Central and Eastern Norway by ensuring good grid capacity.
The significance of facilitating more renewable energy investments along the coast from Lindesnes in the south to Nordkapp in the north, both small-scale hydropower and wind power, as well as electrification of the petroleum industry and new industrial activity along the coast are two other important factors for the development and upgrading of the grid.
At the same time, Statnett operates in a context where good climate measures can result in a negative impact on nature and the local environment. 'This is a paradox we take seriously,' says Lont. Concern for the connection between the environment and the climate was the reason why Statnett earlier in November, together with other European grid operators and the green movement, signed a joint European Renewable Grid Initiative. The initiative commits all parties to finding the best possible solutions for both the environment and the climate.
An efficient grid must be reinforced
The Norwegian main grid is one of the most efficient in Europe, but the margins are soon gone. This means that investments are needed to ensure a satisfactory security of supply, both in the short and long term.
'The 2011 Grid Development Plan outlines the establishment of a stronger grid that can handle variations in the access to power, variations in consumption – as well as several different development scenarios. A robust infrastructure will be able to handle several unforeseen incidents and new development directions. Should a lack of grid stop commercial development, the financial losses for Norwegian society could be significant,' says CEO Auke Lont Auke Lont.
Grid development in Northern Norway
The main challenges for the power system in Northern Norway are related to a weak security of supply in large parts of the region due to a weak and ageing grid, limited transfer capacity north of Ofoten, expected increased consumption in Finnmark, particularly in connection with the petroleum industry, as well as facilitating renewable energy production in Nordland County.
Statnett is planning to establish a new 420 kV power line between Ofoten and Balsfjord and between Balsfjord and Hammerfest. In total, this represents a section of about 500 kilometres. Statnett applied for a licence for the subsections in May 2010 and May 2009 respectively. Statnett is constructing a new 132 kV power line from Varangerbotn to Skogfoss which is expected to come online in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Grid developments in Central Norway
The main challenges for the power system in Central Norway are related to limited transmission capacity into the area during winter/spring in dry years, weak security of supply in underlying grids, particularly in Sunnmøre and Orkdal, as well as limited transmission capacity north-south and towards Eastern Norway. Central Norway has a major potential for new renewable power production, especially wind power. As a result, the emphasis is on facilitating new renewable energy production.
Statnett has in recent years implemented and planned a number of measures to improve the power supply to Central Norway. The planned 420 kV power line between Central Norway and Sogn (Ørskog-Fardal) will provide a satisfactory power situation in the region, while allowing for further increases in consumption.
NVE has granted a licence for a new 420 kV power line between Namsos, Roan and Storheia, as well as several wind farms on Fosen with a total production capacity of more than 800 MW. These licences have been appealed to the MPE. In order to facilitate planned wind energy south of the Trondheim Fjord, Statnett has applied for a licence for a 420 kV power line from Storheia via Snillfjord to the main grid south of the Trondheim Fjord (Orkdal/Trondheim).
Grid developments in Western Norway
The main challenges for the power system in Western Norway are related to power surplus during the summer season, deficit during winters in dry years and weak security of supply for the Bergen region (the BKK area). The grid in Western Norway has a weak connection to the rest of the power system. As in Central Norway, the emphasis is on facilitating new renewable power production.
A third power line to the area is needed, and the Sima-Samnanger 420 kV power line is currently under construction and scheduled for completion in 2013. There is also a need to strengthen the security of supply to the city of Bergen, where BKK has applied for a new power line for the Kollsnes-Mongstad-Modalen section. Beyond this line, a need for a voltage upgrade for parts of the existing 300 kV grid has been identified, primarily the Sogndal-Aurland and Samnanger-Sauda sections.
Grid developments in Southern Norway
The main challenges for the power system in Southern Norway are related to security of supply to southern Rogaland County, as well as to facilitate new renewable production, particularly wind power. Operational challenges are expected during voltage upgrades. Planned new international cable connections will also entail challenges for the power system in the region.
The current transmission capacity into southern Rogaland County is limited. The area is supplied by two weak 300 kV connections, while the capacity is limited due to voltage-related issues. It is necessary to construct a third line to northern Jæren in order to improve security of supply. Upgrading one of the current 132 kV lines from Lysebotn to Stavanger/Sandnes to a new 420 kV power line between Lyse and Stølaheia, appears to be a good solution.
The main strategy for the grid development in this region is to increase the voltage from 300 kV to 420 kV in the existing grid, which runs from Kristiansand in one eastern corridor and one western corridor.
Grid developments in Eastern Norway
The main challenges for the power system in Eastern Norway are related to weak security of supply for the Oslo Fjord area, variations in voltage, ageing facilities with increasing needs for reinvestments, which must be coordinated with plans for voltage upgrades. Statnett recently started preparing the Grid Plan for the Greater Oslo Area, in order to develop a master plan for the grid development in the area leading up to 2050.
Grid Development Plan summary 2011